What You Don't Know Might Deter You: The Effect of Information Provision on Minority Retention in Undergraduate Economics


This large-scale randomized controlled trial tests whether a low-touch information intervention in an undergraduate Principles of Microeconomics course can help overcome barriers to entry in undergraduate Economics for underrepresented minority (URM) students. I find that providing students with information about potential careers, income, research topics, and diversity in the field of Economics increases the likelihood of enrolling in a subsequent Economics course for URM students by around 12.3 percentage points and that the information induces primarily lower-performing students to enroll. These results suggest that information may have the potential to overcome barriers imposed by low course performance in introductory Economics courses.

Anjali Pai
Anjali Pai
PhD Candidate in Economics

I am a doctoral candidate in economics at UC San Diego. My research interests are in education and health policy, with a focus on improving equity in outcomes for underrepresented communities.